New software package scans data directly into Microsoft applications

A new automated data collection software package available from Southampton-based Kendata Peripherals enables data to be scanned from paper forms directly into an Excel spreadsheet or Access database without the need for cumbersome data exporting procedures.

Known as AutoData Scannable Office, the new software is closely integrated with the Microsoft Office suite and takes advantage of users' familiarity with this environment to greatly reduce the learning curve. It is ideal for any data collection application that currently uses paper forms and manual key entry.

With Scannable Office, form design is carried out using a module called Form Publisher, which is integrated seamlessly within Microsoft Word. This module provides quick icon access to commonly used form creation elements, including check mark boxes, fill-in bubbles, hand print recognition, machine print recognition, bar codes, image capture and key entry zones. Options such as yes/no responses, alphanumeric boxes and pre-formatted date fields can be selected from drop-down menus.

Form Reader is the module within Scannable Office that scans, processes and verifies all scannable objects on a form and then places the data directly into Access or Excel. Indecipherable hand print characters can be immediately presented on screen for interactive user verification. At this point Scannable Office has been designed to learn new character shapes and different hand print styles so that, over time, recognition accuracy continually improves and the need for manual verification decreases.

For users who prefer to create forms with third-party software such as PageMaker, QuarkXPress or CorelDraw, the Template Maker module ensures that forms can be read by Form Reader.

The Data Mapper module, driven by the Form Reader, automatically creates a new database and maps all data fields into it. Invoked separately, it can map individual fields into an existing Excel spreadsheet or Access or other ODBC-compliant database.

Suitable for either batch or interactive operation, Scannable Office supports Windows 95/98/2000/NT 4.0 operating systems and any ISIS- or TWAIN-compliant scanner.

23rd October 2000 - Ref. KE146/2